Three talented, accomplished pitchers could be traded today: Should the Yankees be interested?

Mar 9, 2018; Lake Buena Vista, FL, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Sonny Gray (55) throws a pitch during the third inning against the Atlanta Braves at Champion Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Multiple reports suggest that the Cincinnati Reds are still fielding trade calls for their three best starters: Luis Castillo, Tyler Mahle, and Sonny Gray. Ever since they opted not to pay Wade Miley $10 million and sending him to the market instead, their intentions were clear: save money first, try to compete second. The New York Yankees, looking for additional starting pitchers, should closely monitor the situation because MLB Network’s Jon Heyman reported that a trade could occur today.

The hungry Texas Rangers, who are fresh off spending $500 million on two middle infielders in Corey Seager and Marcus Semien (plus the additions of outfielder Kole Calhoun and pitcher Jon Gray) are one of the teams interested in one of the Reds’ arms.

Castillo is by far the prize of the bunch. The Reds, however, have repeatedly said they would prefer not to deal him. He overcame a brutal start to post a 2.73 ERA and 3.34 FIP over his final 135 1/3 innings in 2021, and the Yankees have asked about him in the past.

Does a Gray-Yankees reunion make sense?

Gray has a history in the Bronx: he pitched for the Yankees in the Larry Rothschild era, and had clear differences with the pitching coach, who wanted to impose a certain pitch. He ended up struggling to a 4.90 ERA in 2018. Now, however, he could make sense because the Bombers have a forward-thinking head of pitching in Matt Blake.

Mahle broke out in the last couple of years: during his last 227 2/3 frames at the MLB level, he has a 3.72 ERA with a fantastic 28.1% strikeout rate. His 8.9% walk rate isn’t elite, but it’s passable.

Any one of those pitchers could represent an upgrade for the Yankees’ rotation, as there isn’t much certainty after Gerrit Cole. They don’t seem to be particularly interested in any of the three at this point, but they should be following the situation closely, as they have let several talented pitchers go by in free agency.